Animal activists urge stop to culls

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Sep 15, 2013 - Page 3

With about 10,000 yellow paper cranes or lotuses folded by pet lovers swinging on strings in front of the Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday afternoon, more than 200 animal rights activists and pet lovers urged the council to stop its rabies animal experiments on beagles and stray animals at shelters.

Setting up a fake gravestone made with paper that read: “a monument dedicated to animal souls,” with yellow chrysanthemum and yellow paper origami lotuses placed around it, the animal lovers mourned for the stray animals that were put to death at shelters.

Huang Tai-shan (黃泰山), founder of the Taiwan People’s Association for Cats and Dogs, which organized the event, said that after rabies was found in wild animals in July and the first case of an infected dog was confirmed last week, local governments have increased their dog capture operations and public animal shelters are becoming full, causing more animals to be put to death.

The paper cranes were hung up to pray for the 14 beagles, as well as the remaining stray animals, he said.

A young supporter surnamed Hsieh (謝), holding a two-month-old black puppy that she adopted from the shelter about two weeks ago in her arms, said that while the regulations for animal shelters stipulate that animals can be put to death after 12 days if no one adopts them, they can be put to death in a shorter time if they become sick or if the shelter is full.

“Although the rats for the rabies experiment have already been sacrificed, we don’t want to give up on saving the beagles. We don’t agree with the council, which has no empathy,” she said, adding that they discovered that some local governments have already purchased large numbers of cages to facilitate increased dog catching recently.

They urged the council to prevent rabies by increasing the vaccination of strays, rather than killing them.